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Galaxy S8 update limits nav bar colors to protect your display

Samsung has begun rolling out a new update for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ that limits the number of colors you can choose for the background of the navigation bar. Only light shades are available now, presumably to protect your gorgeous Infinity Display from burn-in.

Until now, Samsung not only offered darker colors — including black, which is the default for most other Android devices — but it gave us an RGB scale that allowed us to choose any color we wanted for the navigation bar background. Now only six options are available alongside the default grey mode, all of which are light shades.

SamMobile, which was first to spot the change, suggests Samsung may have taken this step to “keep visual uniformity across apps.” The colors appear to fit in nicely with the rest of its TouchWiz interface, however, it’s more likely that brighter options were removed to prevent burn-in from ruining the Galaxy S8’s edge-to-edge display.

Samsung uses AMOLED screens in its smartphones, and in some cases, pixels can degrade over time — especially if they are used to display static objects or colors for a lengthy period. Removing the brighter navigation bar backgrounds may be a step to avoid this, though it doesn’t explain why the black option was removed, since black pixels aren’t lit at all.

Alongside this change, Samsung now gives users the option to hide the navigation bar completely, or lock it into place. The update also brings Android’s latest security patch for June. It’s only available in a handful of markets for now, and you’ll need an unlocked device to get your hands on it first. The rest of us should see it in the coming weeks.

SamMobile

Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...

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